Source : PTI | Panasonic expects a “double-digit” growth in the Indian market this fiscal while the company prepares to tap the long-term potential of the country by bringing high-tech products, besides making it an export hub. India is among three important regions for firm headquartered in Osaka, , and it is in the process of building and bringing many more products and high-tech solutions which did not exist in the past in this country, said Chairman of Panasonic Life Solutions India and South Asia Manish Sharma.
Panasonic Corporation is “heavily committed” to the Indian market as its “long-term potential is very high” because of a lower penetration of products in the country, providing enough space to grow, he said.
The company is working on India-specific innovations for its business verticals such as consumer appliances, electric boxes (wire and wiring devise), supply chain where it provides smart factory solutions, industrial devices and energy business in which it is offering lithium-ion batteries for mobility and stationary storage applications.
Though India is a small market for Panasonic, contributing less than 2 per cent to its global revenue, it is among the top three potential regions, where the corporation in the last 10 years has invested to set up around five factories and two innovation centres, he said.
When asked about the revenue, Sharma told PTI: “We had Rs 10,500 crore last year (FY23) and this year (FY24), again, we are looking at driving a double-digit growth on that base.”
According to Sharma, In India Panasonic is taking a “very strategic and structured approach” to be able to align its “activities and intention, one with the capabilities which exist of a 100-year-old company (Panasonic Corporation) and second the opportunity which exists in the country”.
“The understanding of the headquarters of Panasonic is not only to consider India as a market opportunity but also to build capabilities and that’s why we are not only building on operations into sales and marketing and investing into creating awareness, or the distribution models, but we are also investing into manufacturing and innovation.”
Currently, around 40 per cent of Panasonic’s revenue in India comes from consumer products which include TV panels, cooling products such as air-conditioners and refrigerators and washing machines.
While “the remaining comes out of wires and wiring devices and a lot of b2b products, which people are not really aware of, that also defines Panasonic”, he added.
Besides, Panasonic is also aiming to double its exports from India in next three years. Currently, Panasonic which exports air-conditioners, LED TVs, wire and wiring devices, and appliances such as rice cookers to neighbouring South Asian countries, gets around 8 to 9 per cent of its topline from exports.
“But we also look at ourselves to be the hub to be able to export to the Middle East and Africa and some of the European countries from here,” he said.
When asked about the Indian appliances and consumer electronic industry, Sharma said still the penetration level of the majority of the products in this space is very low and is witnessing various changes from supply chain to consumer choice.
“The average income in the next two to three years is expected to rise, which in turn will create a significant portion of the disposable income. This will be mostly spent for purchasing of appliances,” said Sharma, adding it will create diverse opportunities in India for many decades and “Panasonic is ready with its diverse portfolio to serve the Indian consumers”.
According to Sharma, India is currently witnessing a trend of premiumisation, where a consumer is not shying away from paying extra for having a better value product.
Now people are going for a better experience and buying large size TV and awareness about the total cost of ownership of a product is increasing among Indian consumers.
Customers are becoming more conscious about issues like the energy efficiency of refrigerators and ACs. Now there is no longer a situation where a majority of purchases are happening considering the cheapest of the options available to them.
This change is fuelled by the “aspirations of people” and a lot of other factors such as digital convergence.
“People are preferring products which are helping them in multitasking, which can make their life more comfortable and convenient… you will notice that platforms are evolving. A lot of products are starting to come on those platforms and the adoption of such technologies is fastest when it comes to the youth of the country. So this is going to stay,” he said.